Mets of the Future: Ryder Ryan riding high in Single-A this season
By Tim Boyle
New York Mets pitching prospect Ryder Ryan is performing well in the bullpen this season. Does he have a future at Citi Field?
Last year’s trade between the New York Mets and Cleveland Indians for Jay Bruce landed the former a right-handed pitcher in the lower minor leagues. Ryder Ryan, a recently turned 23-year-old 30th round draft pick, looked like a throw-in to get anything at all in return for renting Bruce. However, in 2018, he looks like much more.
Ryan is with the St. Lucie Mets pitching in relief. It appears that a bullpen role is in his future should he ever reach the big leagues. Ryan has pitched exclusively as a reliever since debuting in 2016, turning in very poor numbers while with the Indians and the complete opposite while under the Mets’ control.
In his eight games last year with Columbia, Ryan had a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings. Through 18.1 innings this year with the St. Lucie squad, Ryan has a 1.96 ERA. Perhaps more importantly, he’s walking fewer batters.
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Ryan has looked like a strikeout pitcher throughout his professional career. At those lower levels, it’s not a complete oddity.
What we should still take away as a positive from this young pitcher is how he has cut down on his bases on balls totals. He’s currently averaging about 2.5 per nine which is a nice change from the 3.6 per nine he has averaged in his career.
Ryan has a long way to go before he sniffs big league action. Considering his relief pitcher role, it may hinder him on many prospects lists. This is why you won’t find him ranked in many places.
This doesn’t mean Ryan’s professional baseball career will end as a minor leaguer. Knowing where his destiny lie, the Mets can allow him to focus on pitching in relief.
Rather than waste any time stretching him out as a starter, they could potentially line him up to climb the minor league ranks and find a niche in the bullpen.
It should be interesting to see how Ryan develops over time. A change of scenery should also have some effect on his performance. One simply needs to look at the ERAs of pitchers on the Las Vegas 51s to see how the environment plays a factor in a guy’s numbers.
Next: Mets have no shot at landing a superstar this summer
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The Mets failed to get any notable prospects in last year’s trade deadline haul. Thanks to some good scouting and possibly luck in the Bruce trade, they may have landed a gem no one saw coming.